Thursday, October 14, 2010

Green Tomato Relish


I'm using up all our green tomatoes today, canning green tomato relish. Here's the kitchen assembly line. In the back is the pressure cooker, working today as a water bath. The stainless pan in front of it holds the cooking relish. Two plastic cutting boards guard against spills and slips from kettle to counter. I fill here and carry them with the jar holder to the water bath in the back.

I ended up with 9 small jars of relish. To be fair, I've found a preserved product tastes completely different popped open at the table served with a meal, than it does at the stove testing from the leftovers.

The day reminded me of a story I read by M.F.K. Fisher The Measure of My Powers 1936-1939. She was living in Switzerland, on a small estate the locals nicknamed Un pƒquis.

I canned often, too. We had three cellars, and I filled one of them with beautiful gleaming jars for the winter. It was simple enough to do it in little bits instead of in great harried rushes as my grandmother used to, and when I went down into the coolness and saw all the things sitting there so richly quiet on the shelves, I had a special feeling of contentment. It was a reassurance of safety against hunger, very primitive and satisfying.

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